Over the next couple of weeks on Writer’s Wednesday, I’m sharing how I use prompts to tunnel under a writer’s block on a WIP.
I have a scrapbook of sorts of different writing prompts. It is a collection of interesting headlines from newspapers and magazines, pictures that I’ve taken or from magazines, and flyers/brochures. Things that I think will spark my muse.
I cut the following headline from the paper – A Date To Remember. I knew this could be used in any WIP. To use this I would make a few ‘master’ questions for my characters.
Is the character happy, sad, or dreading the date?
Is it a date to see someone or something?
How far in the future is it?
I would start with my main characters but I would also include a secondary character to see if I could come with an interesting ‘unexpected’ subplot.
The answers for the 3 basic questions will spark other questions. For example, why does Lyssa (my heroine) dread the family picnic? Is there a relative she dislikes? Why? Was she abused? Etc.
BEWARE: The character that this prompt works for best may NOT be the one that has the most questions and answers.
When using a prompt to work around a block, go with the one that adds the most unexpected twist. While the question may reveal a lot about Lyssa’s character it may not offer the best plot or subplot line, and this information is best woven in without using the date.
However, if a secondary character, Lacey, (Lyssa’s sister) has a date to remember with a handsome man who just started working in an office in the same building as her and the man turns out to be a government agent that is trying to save Lyssa, that might be far more interesting.
Next week, I’m going to chat about the WARNING: Don’t spend too much time picking out your prompt. Making any prompt work – the weirder the better 😉